What was once called a bastard business has become a billion-dollar industry thanks to the convergence of two trends: the competition unleashed by telecom deregulation and the explosion of prison building caused by an inmate population boom. Restrictive telephone privileges, conceived to curb crime and harassing calls as well as to manage inmate behavior, have spurred the phone companies to come up with intelligent service platforms like Maximum Security or BellSouth’s Meridian MAX.

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